By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN
It’s been a while since we’ve talked about the Baltimore Ravens here on Our Turf. So, I scoured the internet to find someone who I could ask about the Ravens. I came up with “The most ELITE Raven’s blog on the internet”, The Baltimore Feather! He was gracious enough to let me pick his brain about the 2018 AFC North champions. Here’s our chat!
SG: John Harbaugh. They extended him over the offseason, and a lot of people felt that he could be on the move. How do you feel about that?
The Baltimore Feather: John Harbaugh’s extension was well deserved. His win of the AFC North after changing quarterbacks and offensive schemes mid-season makes him look like a football wizard. Many people were convinced at the bye week that Harbaugh would depart from Baltimore after 2018, but his playoff push saved him from that fate.
I think the extension and the vote of confidence from the Ravens brass are well deserved and the right move for the organization. Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in the NFL, and it would be a terrible mistake to let him go.
SG: How do you think the Ravens did in the draft. Who do you think will have the biggest impact?
BF: The Ravens made a lot of good moves in the draft. Going into it, I and many other analysts pegged wide receiver as Baltimore’s top need. New General Manager, Eric DeCosta addressed this pressing issue, not once, but twice. In the first round, he drafted the Oklahoma speedster Marquise Brown, and in the third round, Notre Dame’s tall and versatile Miles Boykin. DeCosta also addressed a defensive need in pass rusher by selecting LA Tech edge rusher, Jaylon Ferguson, who broke Terrell Suggs‘ NCAA all-time sack record.
The most interesting pick to me, however, is Trace McSorley, the Penn State quarterback that the Ravens selected in the 6th round. Baltimore hopes he cannot only develop at quarterback but play a similar role as Taysom Hill for the Saints – a do it all swiss army knife. McSorley could find himself at quarterback, wide receiver, return specialist, and defensive back.
It’s also worth noting that the Ravens found a strong class of undrafted free agents. The team has a tendency to keep at least one UDFA on the 53-man roster each year. Miami’s Gerald Willis is the most likely to make the team at the moment.
SG: Lamar Jackson and this offense. Will they be as high flying as people are making it out to be?
BF: Lamar Jackson and the offense have a lot to prove in 2019. New offensive coordinator Greg Roman was recently promoted from his role as the tight ends coach and looks to simplify the offense and create one Lamar Jackson can thrive in. He was Colin Kaepernick’s OC in San Fransico and Tyrod Taylor’s in Buffalo, so he has a lot of experience with mobile quarterbacks. The Ravens added a lot of speed in the offseason, acquiring not only Marquise Brown, but Justice Hill, the fastest running back at the Combine.
Baltimore hopes that this speed will give them a significant advantage, and it very well should. However, the offense cannot afford to be one dimensional, and Lamar Jackson must improve as a passer. If he does, the Ravens offense will be among the most dynamic, but if he makes little improvement, Baltimore will be forced to use the same formula as last year.
SG: How about fantasy? Who’s someone that could be under the radar.
BF: I’m not much of a fantasy guru, but a player I would suggest fantasy owners consider picking up is tight end, Mark Andrews. Andrews emerged as a legitimate receiving threat as a rookie in the Ravens offense last year. He caught 34 passes for 552 yards. The Ravens offense is bound to pass more than they did last year, and because Andrews already has chemistry with Lamar Jackson in an offense full of new faces, I expect Jackson to favor his tight end.
Fantasy owners can probably find Andrews available in the late rounds of their draft, or on the waiver wire.
SG: What’s the 2019 season going to look like for the team??
BF: It’s still too early to give an accurate prediction for Baltimore’s 2019 campaign, but I think the Ravens are in for an interesting season. The Ravens will be in the playoff hunt, but will not have to deal with the Bengals and Steelers in competition. Instead, it will be the Browns in direction competition for the division crown.
The Ravens have the chance to repeat as AFC North Champions, but Baltimore must first re-solidify themselves on defense after the departure of team leaders in Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley, and Eric Weddle. Offensively, the Ravens must either transition to a more balanced approach, or prove they can win with the old-school ground and pound. Regardless of how it ends, it should be a fun season for Ravens fans to watch.
And there you have it.
I’d like to thank Baltimore Feather for taking the time to answer my questions. Please make sure you guys give them a follow and check out their podcasts!!
Talk Ravens with The Baltimore Feather on Twitter @Bmorefeather
Talk football with Sonja on Twitter @Mom23RN